David Ellis is a documentary/fine arts photographer based in California. Beginning his journey in photojournalism, Ellis learned the power of visual storytelling and of the immediacy of the photographic moment. His mantra, “See it, shoot it,” has been the driving force of his work for decades. An endless curiosity about the human condition and a strong background in design and performing arts has helped create work that bridges travel, street, sports, and conceptual photography.  

His exposure to fine art began with his family, which has a long and storied history in visual and performing arts. His father was a screenwriter; his mother was an accomplished  abstract painter in Los Angeles. His appreciation of Chiaroscuro, vivid color sense, and random acts of artistry began at home and have influenced his work ever since he picked up a camera. Ellis's skills were honed through classes at Otis College of Art & Design and the LA Center for Photography. Ultimately, his approach was shaped by his co-ownership of a world-class branding and graphic design firm that created breakthrough design for Paramount, Fandango, City of Los Angeles, IBM, and Epson, among dozens of other clients. There, he was privileged to be in the studio while some of the most celebrated  designers and photographers conceptualized and produced compelling work. 

The result is his belief that creating exciting imagery is a subtractive process, a stripping away of everything that’s unnecessary to express a powerful idea in its ultimate simplicity. 


  • Board of Directors, Los Angeles Center for Photography
  • Los Angeles Art Association
  • Center for Photographic Arts, Carmel, CA



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